An eye for colour and clever juxtaposition, honed over a lifetime immersed in interior design, informs the creative decoration of this Victorian London home. The lofty living room is one end of the open-plan space that forms the middle floor. To make the most of the natural light, the owner has used low-level furnishings, carefully placed so the space feels open and airy. Pink linen-upholstered Gio Ponti chairs and purple suede stools add soft hits of colour.
Among the many pieces of furniture, artworks and accessories par excellence around the house, the 1970s gold-topped coffee table in the living room, seen here in front of the heirloom bergère chairs, is a spectactular party piece: its base opens up to reveal a drinks cabinet.
An assortment of fabrics found at markets in Istanbul and Tangier have been made into cushions that add more splashes of colour to the living room. ‘I have a whole room in my father’s house that is filled with fabrics that one day will become part of new schemes,’ says the owner.
Jewel-bright upholstery and a colourful seaweed-patterned rug forge strong visual links between the living room and the kitchen in the distance, and the dining area, to the right of this chair.
The blue velvet on the 1950s Italian dining chairs was originally a pair of curtains that had hung in the owners grandmother’s bedroom. ‘I’ve always believed kitchens should be separate,’ says the owner of the open-plan space, ‘but I decided to experiment here and keeping things simple with a few touches of colour is refreshing.’
Inspired by designer David Hicks’s striking combinations of colours, patterns and eras, the owner has used the blue velvet chairs to focus on the 1960s Danish dining table, while emphasising the distinctive artworks, including an Anthony Gormley sculpture in the corner. Notice, too, the pleasing effect created by the books arranged by the colour of their spines.
With the skirting boards removed, the dark oak floorboards stripped and oiled, and the metal staircase sanded and repainted black, the stairwell and middle floor landing work perfectly as a pristine white-walled art gallery.
By contrast, the bedrooms buzz with colour. Here in the grey-walled and grey-carpeted guest room, the owner has used a burnt orange linen to upholster the headboards, which he designed to form an outline inspired by Moroccan motifs.
In the main bedroom, petrol blue-painted walls are a spectacular way to show off a panel of fabric that was found in Istanbul and is now used as a curtain between bedroom and the dressing room, behind the mirrored wall.
‘This is not a formulaic London townhouse,’ says the owner of his bold and fascinating home, ‘but colour in the bedrooms, with white living spaces in between, does make for beautifully cocooned spaces.’